Netbooks growing up
This post is written on my new netbook – a Lenovo ideapad s10e. Actually I had given up on netbooks. My first one was an Asus EEE PC 900 with SSD and that machine was a serious disappointment. I have always liked Asus hardware, mainly because it is extremly well updated with software. That was also the case with the eee 900, but in order to make it cheap enough a cut was made on the CPU and on the keyboard. Actually I think I could live with the somewhat slow Dothan CPU (Celeron’ish), but combined with the poor keyboard the experience was like:
I don’t know if the machine refuses to react on my keypress because the stroke wasn’t registered on the keyboard or because I am waiting for the CPU.
That is of course not acceptable. So the too-cheap netbook has been gathering dust for a while now.
Some colleagues also purchased netbooks. One of them a Medion Akoya (looks very much like the MSI Wind – which 95% of the hardware probably is). It had an Intel Atom processor, which seems to do A LOT for these small laptops. The price did get an extra nudge compared to the Asus eee PC 900, but that can actually mean the difference between a usable and an unusable netbook.
The Lenovo machine is Atom-based, responsive and so far a really really nice piece of machinery. I dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu Linux on it and have yet to encounter missing drivers or missing responsiveness from the keyboard.
As with anything, you get what you pay for and you actually don’t have to pay that much more for a netbook that actually behaves as you would expect.